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Recent and Upcoming Movie Releases Based on Short Stories

Sometimes reading the book the film was adapted after doesn’t have to take long at all! Movies shown below are based off of short stories, which vary from alien invasions to supernatural serial killers to intimate character studies. Check them out before you see the movies or read them after you watch to compare and contrast. Enjoy!

Julieta book cover
Runaway book cover

Runaway by Alice Munro is a starred review collection of short stories centering around women of varying ages and situations. What connects the stories is Munro’s ability to focus on the passions and motivations of her characters, providing a thorough reflection of them. The movie Julieta weaves together three of Munro’s stories that center around one woman trying to leave her husband.

In theaters December 2016

 

 


The Bye Bye Man book cover

The Bye Bye Man and Other Strange-but-True Tales by Robert Damon Schneck dives into paranormal stories in America’s history. Its title story and the basis for the new movie, The Bye Bye Man follows three college students in the 90s playing around with a Ouija board. Without meaning to, they unleash the deadly and terrifying spirit of a serial killer known as The Bye Bye Man.

In theaters January 2017

 

 

 


Arrival book cover
20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction book cover

Framed around the question of what if someone on Earth could interpret alien language, Ted Chiang’s award winning short story, “Story of Your Life” provides the foundation for 2016 film Arrival in which a linguist is enlisted by the military to communicate with an alien spaceship that landed on earth. The short story is especially notable for how it is constructed and portrays the alien language.

In theaters November 2016

Winner of the 2016 World Fantasy Award: The Chimes by Anna Smaill

The ChimesChimes book cover, an imaginative debut by New Zealand poet and former violinst Anna Smaill, was named Best Novel at the 2016 World Fantasy Awards. In the aftermath of the Allbreaking, memory is ephemeral, writing has been outlawed, and everything is communicated through musical expressions. Teenaged Simon knows his parents have died, but he doesn’t know how, nor does he know why he’s in London. Working with the leader of an orphan band of scavengers, Simon begins to piece together not only his own story but one that could change the world. A veritable symphony of intricate world-building and fascinating quest for truth, The Chimes was also honored as a longlist title for the 2015 Man Booker Prize.

#Bookvember: Book Suggestions Every Day!

One thing we’re thankful for at Mount Prospect Public Library is the opportunity to share books we think you might like! Follow our Twitter account, @MPPLib to receive a general book suggestion found around the Library. We will be representing a broad variety of different tastes, so at least one is bound to catch your eye! See a few examples below:

Picture of Six-Gun Snow White tweetSix-Gun Snow White
by Catherynne M. Valente
Picture of Sneaker Wars tweetSneaker Wars
by Barbara Smit

 

 

Picture of Bloodline TweetBloodline
by Claudia Gray

Book Discussion Questions: Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Kim book coverTitle:  Kim
Author:  Rudyard Kipling
Page Count: 230 pages
Genre: Classic, Adventure, Espionage
Tone:  Dramatic, Atmospheric

Summary:
Kim, the poor orphaned son of an Irish soldier stationed in India, searches for his identity and learns to move between the two cultures, becoming the disciple of a Tibetan monk while training as a spy for the British secret service.

SPOILER WARNING:
These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.

The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement:  2016 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

1. Describe this boy Kim that we meet — not what happened to him, but what is he like? How would you describe his character, his personality, his passions? What gives you that impression?

2. Does Kim change throughout the novel? Would you say he grows up, or does he remain a boy?

3. This is sometimes generalized as a boys’ adventure story. What appeal would it have for readers who enjoy those tales?

4. At its most basic structure, Kim might be described as a quest story. How is this true? Whose quest(s) are explored? Are there multiple journeys being explored?

5. Kim is widely considered a masterpiece of children’s literature. Who might the audience be now? Would you give it to a student? Recommend it to a certain type of reader for leisure?

6. Another way to characterize the novel may be as a tale of friendship. Describe the relationship that grows between Kim and the lama.

7. The fact that they are on the road provides opportunity to weave in and out of other places, people, and scenarios. Is this done effectively? Which scenes made the strongest impact?

8. How would you describe Kipling’s India as described in the novel — geographically, demographically, politically, ideologically?

9. You may have noticed that significant passages are devoted to describing the many peoples and cultures that make up India. Did these have the ring of authenticity? Were they stereotypical or biased? Did you obtain a sense of all facets: rich, poor, cities, temples, etc.?

10. In Kipling’s time, why do you think English readers were fascinated by portrayals of “exotic” British colonies like India? Can you think of any modern counterparts for our day?

11. This is overwhelmingly a male novel. Who are the female characters that you can recall? What perspectives does the way women are characterized expose? Would you rather have women be absent than to be portrayed in this way?

12. Kipling received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907 (Kim was published in 1901). His commendation read, “in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author”. Which of these qualities are evident in Kim?

13. What may make this a challenging work for modern readers? Has writing changed? Have readers changed?

14. Kipling portrays the imperialist presence in India as unquestionably positive, even presenting an ideal India that is not divided by imperialism but rather is unified by it. Where do we see this? Do you think this accurate?

15. Is it fair to be offended by cultural attitudes that were accepted as fact at that time? Should that color our experience as we read today?

16. A thematic motif is the search for Enlightenment. How were the lama’s ideals presented? Do you recall any specific encounters, challenges, or advancements of his faith?

17. What role did Kismet play in Kim’s life?

18. How is war and/or military operations characterized? Should we be at all uncomfortable with the references to, as one example, the Great Game?

19. Two literary terms applied to stories with a focus on a certain character are
             Picaresque: telling a story about the adventures of a usually playful and dishonest character
             Bildungsroman: novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character
Does either apply here? Do both?

20. Would you call the ending a happy one? A satisfying one? What might you have hoped differently?

21. In spite of the challenges you might have had in reading Kim, did anything surprise you pleasantly? What were some of the high points?

Want help with your book discussion group? Check out tips, advice, and all the ways the Library can help support your group!

OTHER RESOURCES:

Kim featured in The Guardian‘s list of 100 best British and American novels
Kim as comfort reading?
American Thinker: On the Greatness of Kipling’s Kim
Rudyard Kipling biography
The Kipling Society webpage
The New York Times: Lahore as Kipling Knew It
BBC News: the controversy of Kipling’s Indian Legacy

READALIKES:

Sea of Poppies book coverSea of Poppies
by Amitav Ghosh

Road to Samarcand book coverThe Road to Samarcand
by Patrick O’Brian

Baudolino book coverBaudolino
by Umberto Eco

Staff Pick: Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Jenny from Fiction/AV/Teen suggests Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Cover of Did You Ever Have a FamilyIn an instant, June’s entire family died the night before her daughter’s wedding. The house her loved ones were all staying in caught fire while June was outside of the house, and she was forced to watch her life be engulfed at the same time.

One of my favorite parts of this 2015 Man Booker nominee is how the story is told. The town June lives in is small, where everyone thinks they know each other and gossip is rampant. The narration switches from individuals throughout the town, giving us their own perspective on the situation and their own piece in this tragedy.  Ever so slowly, the truth of that night unravels as the characters deal with answering the question, “What now?” As a result we get this beautiful overarching picture of life and grief and time and the connections between people. If you love stories exploring people as they are and as they were, Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg is the book for you.

For more books dealing with grief, healing, and unraveling secrets try…

the untelling book cover
In The Untelling by Tayari Jones, twenty-five year old Aria is struggling to begin a new family with her fiancé. However, the grief of losing her father and sister fifteen years ago in a car accident is weighing on her as she tries to start anew.
the sweet hereafter book cover
Four different narrators reflect on a tragic school bus accident, sharing the town’s journey toward healing in Russell Banks’ The Sweet Hereafter.
in a dark dark wood book cover
In the psychological thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, a reclusive crime writer wakes up in the hospital with several injuries after a weekend away and has to piece together the secrets that lead to a death.
in the wake book cover
Arvid’s parents and younger brothers died in a ferry accident. Six years later, he finally begins to work his way toward happiness.  While the premise is sad, In the Wake by Per Petterson is ultimately a novel of hope and the celebration of family.
my sunshine away book cover
A southern gothic coming-of-age tale,  My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh takes place in a small suburb of Baton Rouge which is shaken when a 15 year-old girl is assaulted. Told from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy in the town, his devotion toward her makes even him a suspect in the crime.

We’ve Got You Covered: Tree Branch Fiction

It’s the time of year in which radiant fall foliage drops to the ground, and we’re left with stark and moody branches that can close in on the unsuspecting. Take a peek at the titles below that use creeping wood on their covers to inspire delicious tension.

In the Woods book coverIn the Woods
Tana French
Sudden Light book coverA Sudden Light
Garth Stein
Big Fish book cover
Big Fish
Daniel Wallace

 

What We Knew book coverWhat We Knew
Barbara Stewart

Name of the Wind book coverThe Name of the Wind
Patrick Rothfuss

Loney book coverThe Loney
Andrew Michael Hurley

 

Tree of Smoke book cover
Tree of Smoke
Denis Johnson

 

Nonfiction: One of Joe Maddon’s Favorite Books

You'll See It When You Believe It book coverOne thing people might not know about  Chicago Cubs coach Joe Maddon is he is a big reader. Over the years he has mentioned authors such as Malcom Gladwell, Pat Conroy, and Mark Twain in previous interviews. One book in particular he’s shared as a favorite in the last few years is You’ll See It When You Believe It by Wayne W. Dyer, tweeting, “One of my favorite self help books…”You’ll See It, When You Believe It” by Wayne Dyer … only way to fly!”

In this 1989 book concerning personal transformation, Dyer advises his readers on the road to self-realization. He uses a conversational tone, sharing his own experiences as he focuses on the inner-thought life of humans and its impact on the way we interact with the world around us and our own lives. Whether you’re interested in self-help books or not, after reading this you’d surely have some conversation fodder if you ever happen to be at a dinner with the Chicago coach!

List: Optimistic Television

Too often the most praised programs in the exciting eras of Television’s Golden Age and Peak TV are gritty and cynical, while happy or hopeful shows can be dismissed as fluff. Not true. We’re here to tell you that excellence in television narratives doesn’t need to be a downer. Here are six critically acclaimed series that combine innovative storytelling with a rosy outlook.

 

Jane the Virgin DVD coverJane the Virgin

The gold standard. An intentionally ridiculous premise serves as comic springboard for real-life issues of family, religion, immigration, identity, and integrity. Earnest and charming without being naïve, Jane regularly brings both tears and laughter (sometimes simultaneously) and inspires real hope for the world.

 


Parks and Recreation DVD cover
Parks and Recreation

Mid-level bureaucracy may be an unlikely place to find idealism, but you won’t find anyone who embodies optimism better than Leslie Knope. She and her motley band of coworkers have genuine affection for each other and sincere belief in the work they do, no matter how absurd it may seem.

 

Pushing DaisiesPushing Daisies DVD cover

Narrated by the magical Jim Dale (voice of the Harry Potter audiobooks), this candy-colored procedural is as much comfort food for the soul as the mouth-watering pies on display would be for the belly. Unabashedly romantic in outlook and buoyant in spirit, star-crossed lovers and artful murders have never before brought such joy.

 


Black-ish

Deftly juggling broad comedy with sensitive topics, Black-ish shows that issues of race don’t need to be isolated as “very special episodes”. Parents and children alike are allowed to make mistakes, tough questions are faced head on, and family is ultimately celebrated, all without forgetting that it’s a show designed to entertain.

 

Gilmore GirlsGilmore Girls DVD cover

Life is hard, people we love make poor choices, and we can’t all live in Stars Hollow. All of these may be difficult to accept, but somehow time spent with Lorelai, Rory, and the quirky denizens of their hometown makes us believe that given enough coffee, pop culture fast-talking, and wacky festivals, happiness and home are within reach. Where they lead, we will follow.

The West WingWest Wing DVD cover

Politics and optimism may seem quite a stretch these days, but if any show can restore even a little hope in Washington, it’s this one. Here we can escape into a world where the President and his advisors actually succeed in channeling passion into action, illustrating our longing for government to overcome the odds.

 

 

 

Looking for more suggestions to watch, hear, or read? Ask online or stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk on the second floor. We’d love to connect you with something to fit your mood!